Membership Information

LEAP is an AKC agility club with about 100 members from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. LEAP's objectives are to: Promote agility training Disseminate knowledge regarding agility training Coordinate agility training sessions for dogs and/or handlers Encourage the training of judges Promote cooperation, harmony, and good sportsmanship among members in the training and exhibiting of dogs.
The idea for establishing a new agility club was motivated by a need for a local agility club to host AKC trials in the area. Before LEAP, the AKC agility trials in the area were hosted by obedience or breed clubs. Most of LEAP's founding members had worked with other clubs to host agility trials. LEAP began with a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and dedication!

The club's first meeting was held during a trial in upstate NY in 1999. In addition to it being the first meeting, it was memorable for a couple of reasons. The meeting took place at a large mall that included a beautiful carousel ride inside the mall. Of course, in the fun-loving spirit that would become a part of LEAP, we just had to take a ride on the carousel! Present at this first meeting were club co-founders, Shirley LaFlamme and Debbie Hunt, and Tibby Chase, Ellen DeWolf and Bonnie Bartlett. The most important decision we made at this meeting was that our new club would be "the club that got along!"

Shortly the club generated more interest and support and the first slate of officers were elected: Shirley LaFlamme, President; Debbie Hunt, Vice-President; Monica Land, Secretary; Bonnie Bartlett, Treasurer; Ellen DeWolf, Membership Secretary; Noreen Bennett and Debbie Wilkinson, Directors. Bylaws were soon developed and adopted that called for two additional directors to join the board, and Tibby Chase and Mike Gramarossa accepted these positions.

The idea for LEAP's name and logo were submitted by member, Carol Kasabian. Monica Land refined the logo idea and created the distinctive geometric dog leaping over the top of an a-frame in LEAP's logo. Did you know that at first it was suggested that LEAP stand for "Local Eastern Agility Players"? It was decided to just simplify things, as we needed to specify a geographic location in our name to satisfy an AKC club requirement…………so we became LEAP Agility Club of Central Massachusetts.

LEAP was driven to gain AKC recognition and we got to work on meeting the requirements. We raised funds for insurance by holding raffles at the November Cluster shows and coordinating workers at trials. LEAP was also very involved with supporting the AKC National Championships held in Springfield, MA in 2000 (with our own, Debbie Hunt, chairing them!). LEAP continued to proceed with hosting show and go's, run-thrus, training workshops, etc., to meet AKC Club Relations requirements. Not a simple process by any means, but in November 2000 LEAP was granted approval for hosting of a sanctioned agility match. We held a well-received sanctioned match at Merryfields in Feb. 2001.

On May 7, 2001, LEAP was informed by Club Relations that all our hard work had paid off and LEAP was granted approval to host licensed agility trials. We got to work planning the first one for October 27-28. 2001 in Brimfield, MA. With a Halloween theme, beautiful crisp, cool weather, and a great coordinated effort by LEAP members, our first trial was a huge success!
Leap ByLaws (Click to Download the PDF)
LEAP Video Library!

LEAP Video Library Lending Policy - Club members may check out one or two videos at a time. It is the member’s responsibility to get the videos back to the librarian whether it means meeting her at a trial or other place or by mailing them back if a mutual meeting place cannot be found. Jean is at Tails U Win in CT several times a week so that could be a great return spot. Videos should be returned to the librarian within 30 days. After 30 days time, the librarian will make up to two reminder attempts by email or phone calls to have the materials returned. If the reminders are ignored and the materials are kept more than 60 days, a bill for the cost of replacing the materials will be mailed to the borrower. Should the member not return the materials or pay for them, action may be taken by the Board of Directors which may involve temporary or permanent suspension of member privileges. For more information on videos, contact Jean Freeman at


1999 AKC Nationals taped from Animal Planet

1999 World Championships

Agility Foundation Training by Greg Derrett

Great Dog Shame About the Handler by Greg Derrett

Competition Agility Training by Jane Simmons-Moake Volume 2 - Sequence Training Volume 3 - Advanced Skills

Best of 2004 FCI World championships

Fix It by Julie Daniels

Go the Distance Volume 1 by Stacy Peardot Goudy

Canine Cineradiography A study of Bone and Joint Motion as seen through Moving X-rays

Agility in Motion - Volume 1 - No 1 Nancy Gyes: Jump Training: The Bounce Jump Jim Basic: Distance handling: The "OUT" Command Rachel Sanders: Training play Robert Michalski: Tunnel-Contact discrimination Maureen Strenfel: Clicker Corner: first steps

Agility in Motion - Volume 1 - No 2 Nancy Gyes: Jump Training: The Circle Jim Basic: Distance handling: The "Go" Command Rachel Sanders : Training play: Placement of reward Robert Michalski : Training a "close" command Maureen Strenfel: Clicker Corner: Teaching Creativity

Agility in Motion - Volume 1 - No 3 Nancy Gyes: Front Cross Rachel Sanders: Teaching the Table Robert Michalski: Shaping as handling technique Maureen Strenfel: Clicker Corner: Ways to get behavior Course Challenges Selected Runs

DVD's 2006 FCI World Championships

Serpentines, Threadles & 270's - by Stacy Peardot Goudy

Calming Signals: What Your Dog Tells You - by Turid Rugas

World Class Weaves - by Joe Canova

Stretching the Performance Dog - by Debbie Gross-Saunders

LEAP has made arrangements with L. L. Bean to provide the LEAP logo on merchandise such as clothing, hats, tote bags and anything else made of fabric.
All you need to do is look in the L. L. Bean catalog or on their website, note the catalog number of the item, and call 1-800-832-1889 and give the representative the catalog number and the design number of the logo you prefer, as well as our club name. Be sure to give them your name and address for shipping and confirmations.

Two logos are available:

Design # 90081 Colorway 1 is a Platinum color and is suitable for use on medium to dark colored items

Design # 90081 Colorway 2 is a Navy Blue color and is suitable for use on medium to light colored items

There are a few exceptions. L.L. Bean will not add the logo to corduroy material or plaid items. They will add the logo to Goretex items but cannot guarantee waterproof performance due to the stitching. You will be charged the cost of the item you choose and an embroidery fee of $12.00 per item.

We hope you enjoy the opportunity to show your pride in our club by purchasing clothing and merchandise that fits your style with LEAP’s logo. If you have any questions, you can contact Pat McKinney at
Leap Membership Application Form (Word)
Leap Membership Renewal Form (Word)
Leap Service Hour Policy (Word)
The Ellen DeWolf Distinguished Service Award LEAP Agility Club welcomes nominations for our "Ellen De Wolf Distinguished Service Award". This award will be presented to a LEAP member in memory Ellen DeWolf, who passed away in late 2010. Ellen was one of our most inspirational, pioneer members.

Ellen's Contribution to LEAP Ellen and her husband Gordon were at the forefront in introducing and promoting the sport of dog agility in New England. Their lovely home and farm, Merryfields, was the site of some of the first agility workshops, trials, and classes in New England. In 1999, Ellen along with several other agility fans led the effort to form the LEAP Agility Club of Central MA. From the initial meetings in 1999, through the AKC club approval process, to the first official AKC trial in 2002, Ellen played a central role in LEAP's growing reputation as a club that welcomed newcomers to the sport, rewarded service and hard work, and supported its members both in their competitive and personal lives. She served as Treasurer of the new club as well as hosting club meetings, matches, training clinics, and fun activities at Merryfields. It is true to say that LEAP owes much of its initial and ongoing success to Ellen's vision, dedicated service, caring attitude and generous support.

In many ways Ellen personified the true spirit of agility. At the heart of her love and dedication to the sport was her belief that agility was all about having a fun working relationship with your dog, continuing to learn and perfect dog and handler skills while engaging in friendly competition and most importantly supporting your friends and club through both the good and bad times.

Purpose and Guidelines for this Award
The purpose of the Distinguished Service award is to recognize a LEAP member who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the LEAP Club and to the spirit of agility as embodied by Ellen DeWolf.

The guidelines for this award are as follows:

• The award should be meaningful, not just a testimonial to friendship or longtime club membership.

• It should reflect several dimensions of service to the club and commitment to the spirit of agility.

• This award does not have to be given every year.

The person who receives this award should:

• Be someone who has demonstrated that they have the best interests of the LEAP club and the sport of agility at heart.

• Be someone who demonstrates more than one aspect of the spirit of agility including but not limited to: enjoying the ongoing working relationship with their agility dog(s), supporting education and training of themselves and club members, volunteering for a variety of club activities, being there to support fellow members in their personal and competitive lives, contributing to the welfare of agility dogs.

• Not be motivated by personal gain or advancement.

• Be someone who has been active in the club for some time, and has demonstrated a willingness to be “in it for the long haul”.

To nominate a LEAP member for The Distinguished Service Award please:

• Objectively nominate a person worthy of receiving the award--letting a person's actions speak louder than your emotions.

• List and support the reasons you are nominating this person with a short paragraph or statement as to how this person meets the above guidelines.

• No nomination will be considered without a support statement.

E-mail or "snail mail" your nomination and support statement to:

Paula Orcutt
29 McCormick Rd.
Spencer, MA 01562

Questions about the award?
Please contact any one of our committee members:

Paula Orcutt --
Tibby Chase --
Monica Land Stathers –
Debbie Hunt --
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